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The Real Reason Dana White Was Desperate To Run UFC 249

The Real Reason Dana White Was Desperate To Run UFC 249

The UFC were reportedly desperate to keep UFC 249 running as cancellation could impact their collection of a £605 million payout from ESPN.

Dana White's promotion signed a partnership deal with the broadcaster in May last year and agreed the contracted sum.

However, UFC must deliver 42 live shows per year as part of the contract to be entitled to the full fee per Daily Mail.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA
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"I'd be surprised if they can't fulfill their contract. Disney is paying UFC no matter what... all the UFC has to do is put the show on to get a minimum payment," media analyst Brandon Ross told the Wall Street Journal.

UFC 249 was officially cancelled on Thursday night after White revealed he had high ranking executives from Disney and ESPN contact him.

"I was ready to go on Saturday, but Disney and ESPN asked me to step down," White wrote per The Guardian. "I love and respect my partnership with them so I postponed the event."

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White also made a point of explaining all of his staff at the UFC will be looked after throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The Real Reason Why UFC 249 Was Suddenly 'Shut Down'
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The Real Reason Why UFC 249 Was Suddenly 'Shut Down'

published ata year ago

"All of my fighters that are under contract with me, I want them to feel safe, take time with your families and enjoy this time," he said.

"Don't worry about the financial part of this. You're gonna get the fights in your contract, and I'm gonna make things right with the people who were willing to step up and fight next weekend on April 18.

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"And I'm gonna take care of as many people as I possibly can and do whatever it takes to make these guys all feel comfortable."

The event has been rocked by the coronavirus outbreak and had already undergone one change to it's main event.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to defend his lightweight championship against Tony Ferguson, but that bout was called off for a FIFTH time with 'The Eagle' stranded in Russia.

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Ferguson was still slated to main event the show with Justin Gaethje drafted in as a replacement.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: ESPN, UFC News, Tony Ferguson, UFC, UFC 249, Dana White

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Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelance journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. He lived to tell the tale.